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How A Credit Card Transaction Works

If you are planning to accept credit cards as part of your business it is beneficial to understand how the process works and what parties are involved.

The Parties Involved

The merchant account provider (acquiring bank) is the bank that the merchant uses to setup up credit card processing. The merchant account provider connects the merchant to the customer via the credit card network.

The card issuing bank is the bank that the customer uses to be able to buy products or services via a credit card.

The Credit Card Transaction Process

When customers purchase a good or service from a merchant the following steps occurs.

Credit Card Information Input

There are basically two ways that credit information is input. It is either swiped or keyed in. If the purchase begins at a “brick and mortar” type of business (barber or grocery store) then the card is usually swiped using a point of sale (POS) machine. This machine reads the information off the magnetic strip on the back of the card.

If the transaction is done over the internet or by mail order or over the telephone then the information cannot be swiped and must be keyed in. Since a keyed in transaction has a greater potential for fraud additional information is generally required to process the transaction like the 3 or 4 digit card security number, the card holders billing address and phone number. In the event of an internet transaction the keyed in information travels through a payment gateway which works similarly to a POS.


Once the card information is input it goes to the merchant account provider. The merchant account provider communicates with the costumer’s credit card issuing bank where it determines whether the card holder has enough credit for the purchase. The customer’s issuing bank then issues a hold on the card against that amount and sends an authorization code to merchant bank and to the merchant.


Batch Processing (Transfer the money)

The various transactions a merchant does during the day are stored. Generally, at the end of the day the transactions are processed in one batch, where in the card issuing bank transfers the money to the merchant account. Before the card issuing bank does so, it subtracts a transaction fee (processing fee) which is a percentage of the purchase (generally around 2%). Once the merchant account bank receives the money it subtracts a flat processing fee.

For example if a customer buys a $100 product and the interchange fee is 2% and the processing fee is $0.50 then a $100 purchase loses $2 at the customers card issuing bank and $0.50 at the merchant account provider, meaning the merchant actually gets paid $97.50 on the transaction.

Computer Maintenance Tips How To Keep Your Computer Working Like New

A good computer has a good working life, so the need for computer maintenance and repair is just as important as the hardware. With each computer, there is a full load of software running in the background, which requires regular maintenance from an expert technician.

Computers are nothing without the software that they run. Without it, the computer would simply be a glorified calculator. And, no matter how simple or complicated the software can be, it will need to be upgraded on a regular basis.

There are a few things that you can do to help reduce the amount of time you spend on your computer doing complete computer maintenance. But, you can’t completely escape the need for a tune-up on your PC. It is essential that you know how to maintain it properly so that your computer can perform at its best.

Your security system is the first thing that needs to be taken care of when it comes to PC maintenance. If you have a home server, then it is recommended that you use it to secure your entire network. You need to keep it up-to-date with the latest security patches and software.

Firewall is another component that you should be checking on a regular basis. This is critical in keeping out hackers from stealing information from your computers. Security holes on the firewall can allow them to enter into your network without your knowledge.

You also need to look at the performance of your CPU regularly. You can do this by downloading a program that tells you what your CPU is doing. The more junk files that are left on your computer, the slower it will run.

It is important that you clean your computer. Start by uninstalling any programs that you don’t use anymore. Then, gothrough the software that you no longer use on your computer and delete them.

Cleaning out your computer’s registry is also important. This part of your computer is where all the data and settings are stored. It will slow down your PC if it isn’t clean.

These are some of the things that need to be done in computer maintenance. Many people overlook the fact that they need to keep their system up-to-date with the latest patches and software. You may also need to check out the possibility of uninstalling spyware and viruses.

There are several things that need to be done to keep your computer performing at its best. In addition to updating your computer with the latest patches and updates, you need to clean up unwanted files and programs that you no longer use. And, you also need to update your firewall to keep out the hackers.

One of the reasons why a lot of people have a bad reputation of not being able to keep their computer up-to-date is because they neglect maintenance. They don’t actually understand how to keep their system healthy. That is why you need to take an internet connection in order to get in touch with the experts who can help you keep your computer performing at its best.

Computer maintenance is something that all computer users should have an understanding of. Just like a car, a computer is not going to last forever. It is important that you take care of it in order to ensure that it lasts as long as it is supposed to.

Dont Just Survive Thrive

There are countless ways to make sure your business not only survives but thrives for the long term. In these challenging economic times, competing effectively isn’t an option for a business to survive. Why not thrive instead of just surviving since your company is working hard anyway? Why not start at the top of the list, where the best bang for the buck can be found in ensuring business success?

Does your company have a Board of Advisors with members that are willing to challenge your assumptions and beliefs while bringing real value and new ideas to your business? A Board of Advisors made up of seasoned professional business people can be one of your organizations’ most valuable resources. It’s all too easy for a business owner or CEO to get in a rut and not see the forest for the trees while leading the business. The experienced advisors will bring value to the business and challenge conventional wisdom while keeping the best interests of the company in mind.

No matter what the size of the business, a competent and diverse board of experienced business people will help ensure success and better enable a company to compete while pleasing its’ customers and generating good financial results. A Board of Advisors should be carefully chosen to include diverse backgrounds with people that will work together while challenging existing assumptions. Doing things the way everyone else does things will get you where everyone else gets. A superior competitor charts its’ own path. The wise leader and business owner knows that access to and the use of qualified help is one of the most powerful ways to compete successfully.

How does a company create an effective board? I can help you and your company by providing objective unbiased input by evaluating and advising when such a critical decision involving a board or board members is appropriate.

Human Behaviour And Culture In A Modern Organization

Organizations are facing challenges every new day. Some of these challenges include bureaucracy, technological and regulatory changes. All this can be summarized into culture issues .

issues Understanding organizational culture and when to anticipate changes is important to the survival of most organizations.

An organization that is able to understand the needs of all these cultures and come up with a congruent universal culture is going to reap huge benefits in terms of growth, profitability and long-term existence.

Organizations are facing challenges every new day. Some of these challenges include bureaucracy, technological and regulatory changes. All this can be summarized into culture issues. Culture is simply social behavior and norms within a given society. The old guard is used to doing things in a certain way. Technological advances mean that this way of doing things is obsolete and the old guard finds this difficult to accept. The old guard regards loyalty while the generation Y and X want to achieve something and move on. This is difficult for the old guard. All these point to a cultural issue that has been built up for a while. Therefore understanding organizational culture and when to anticipate changes is more important to the survival of most organizations.

Understanding people and social behaviour and how this influences culture is going to be a critical aspect running a 21st century organization. The 21st century organization is characterized by various cultures clashing together i.e. the baby boomers, generations X, Y & Z, tech culture, crypto currencies, etc. All these cultures perceive life and work very differently. An organization that is able to understand the needs of all these cultures and come up with a congruent universal culture is going to reap huge benefits in terms of growth, profitability and long-term existence.

Understanding human behaviour and how this impact the 21st century organizations is critical in helping organizations navigate the complex issue of culture. This will ensure the continued existence of organizations and come up with solutions to merge all these cultures. This will enable organizations to bring out the best in its people in order to achieve success.


It is hard to understand the different cultures without understanding the power of communication. It’s by improving the communications that we become better listeners and hence better understand our difference.

Assessing training needs, learning difficulties and areas of personal development for people will be a big part in harnessing the power of the different generations. This will enable organizations plan for training and coaching programs for their employees. The ability to solve cultural issues within organizations by understanding human behaviour and how this applies to the work environment is going to be a key item in the 21st century era.

The writer is a commentator on business and economic issues.

What To Know About General Contractors

A business owner faces all types of catastrophes that can happen at a moments notice. Many are not prepared nor do they have the budget to sustain the damage. Plumbing in a big building brings huge headaches. It’s a fight to get the problem resolved before it starts taking away customers and the bottom line revenue. You will search for a contractor to save the day and hopefully restore everything back to normal. Here are some things to know about general contractors.


You know you need a general contractor and you also know you don’t want someone who is going to take days to figure out the problem with the plumbing. Your business is suffering enough as the toilets are no longer running and the sinks in the break room have completely stopped. Now employees are upset and frustrated. It’s hard for them to do their jobs with the plumbing on the fritz. You want the general contractor who can come in an access the situation quickly and get things moving for repair. A business can bleed money as customers or even employees go a long time without a decent bathroom to use. The general contractor who knows how to make a plan fast is the one to hire.


Don’t be too quick to hire anyone that can’t give you a license to view or doesn’t have one at all. This can turn your need for a general contractor into a nightmare you just didn’t see coming. Most plumbing in a business is crucial and when looking for a general contractor to get it back on track can be hard. Check the contractor’s license with the city or state you are in. This will give you information on whether the license is up to date or has expired years ago. Take the appropriate steps to let the contractor go if you find that they have no license at all. You can find a commercial plumbing shakopee mn pro.


As a business in the community there are many other companies you might have chatted with and know. Lean on these people to find out the reputation of a contractor you are considering to hire. They can give you a plethora of suggestions and what to know about the contractor’s reputation among the local businesses. You might be lead to the person who is considered the individual everyone calls and is in demand. This can reduce your search a lot as you will be in good hands. Reputation is everything and most contractor’s know they need to keep theirs intact. Only hire those who have maintained a great reputation throughout their career.

These are things to know about general contractors. Make sure you pick the one who doesn’t take up all of your time when fixing a plumbing issue that is running away all customers. Make sure they have the appropriate license that shows they are capable for you kind of work. Finally, choose the best contractor in your area that has a great reputation and everyone can’t stop talking about them.

Computer Support In Canada

Since the dawn of computer support in Canada, we have gradually had a reputation for providing computer technicians that are good, safe and reliable. So when you need help with your computer, you can be sure to find the company that is able to fix your computer, no matter what the problem may be.

If you do a search on the internet, you will find a wealth of information about computer support in Canada. You may be interested in knowing more about the companies that offer computer support in Canada and you may also want to learn a little bit about their reputation and credentials.

For those who know nothing about computers, it is very easy to become confused about the difference between support and repair. Often, people who don’t know much about computers might assume that their computer will be fixed by someone who knows a lot about computers, but there are actually two different jobs that are often combined in a service contract: this means that a computer technician should know how to repair a computer if something goes wrong.

The truth is that there are many different things that can go wrong with a computer, including the fact that the computer has become corrupt, or it may be struggling to boot up.

This is why it is important to call in a technician from a company that offers computer support in Canada.

They will help you figure out how to make the computer boot up properly and will also do some troubleshooting to resolve the problems that may be present. Once they are done, they will be able to ensure that your computer is able to handle everyday use and will also be able to help you choose the best possible software for your computer.

Most computer support companies offer internet access so that they can offer computer support in Canada.

These companies will also have manuals and other support materials that will help you understand the software that they are using and ensure that you get the most appropriate software for your computer.

So, for your convenience, make sure to ask about computer support in Canada when you need computer assistance. Otherwise, you could end up waiting for hours on hold at the local telephone number and you will not have access to the internet while your computer is being fixed.

To save yourself from all this hassle, choose to do all your computer repairs in person rather than by phone or internet. You will be able to sit down with a computer technician to ensure that you receive the best possible service for your computer, something that you cannot always do over the phone.

Many people find it extremely annoying when they have to wait for someone to come and fix their computer because they can’t wait any longer. It is important to remember that by taking care of this problem before it becomes too much of a problem, you will be able to avoid it when you actually need it.

As much as you can, get online and read about computer support in Canada so that you can be fully prepared.

Building Your Companys Network Security

Most people, if not all, are aware of the importance of network security. The more the systems, devices and elements that you put into place that protect your network and its contents, the more your system will be protected from outside threats.

For instance, wireless routers, cellular phones, PDA’s, etc. are all part of the everyday life of many people. With such devices getting into the wrong hands, an unsecured network can be a big problem.

When the manufacturer provides the system security, it should be the top priority. Having a stronger system will allow you to keep your network more secure, and in turn, provide you with the best possible performance for your business.

When you have the right security for your network, you can rest assured that the customer support service you will receive will be top-notch. That support will include information about the system updates, as well as updates in case there are any security breaches, or issues.

The staff at your company is always there to help you with network security issues. Keeping them updated on the system security will give them time to respond if something does happen.

If you have employees that you hire, make sure that they understand the importance of the system security. For instance, when they access sensitive information from the network, you want to be sure that it is encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.

Make sure that your business associates understand that when they are looking at the network security, they are putting their company at risk. Their employees should be provided with training to ensure that they do not make the same mistakes.

The best way to train your employees on the importance of network security is to provide them with training materials that explain how to do it right. The idea is to create a culture where your employees understand what they are doing and why it is so important.

There are different ways to accomplish this. You can use seminars, or simply keep a database of important information about your network security and other aspects.

Also, you can encourage your employees to improve their own knowledge on the subject. There is nothing wrong with giving them notes as you go along so that they can learn.

You can also train them in how to make use of the employee’s information. Of course, no matter how much they know, there will always be something that they don’t know.

You may even want to put the employees on a system of graded security training. This will force them to keep up with the times and to maintain their security even when they are out of the office.

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Client’s Web Site

The most common mistakes made by web developers have to do with leaving things unclear during the project instead of clarifying them in the very beginning.

Those mistakes cause misunderstandings with the client and they’ll make you work more, without getting payed as you should.

some mistakes are below;

  • Letting browser compatibility left unclear

Don’t be surprised if the client suddenly yells at you when they see PNG images with ugly backgrounds in their home PC browser (obviously they have Internet Explorer 6 installed).

You’ll then find yourself working 10 extra hours (at best) without getting another dime.

How to Avoid

In 2010, you can definitely leave IE6 out of the equation, or charge extra for it. Just make sure it’s clear before you even start building the new site.

To be fair with the clients though, tell them about it explicitly instead of just having it typed in small letters in the contract.

  • Having your client think that SEO is a built-in feature of web design

You gotta know those clients who think that having their site indexed in the first position in Google, is 2 hour work (some of them also think that once it’s there, their site will stay in this position forever).

How to Avoid

Make it clear that web design and SEO are two different things, even though they are not unrelated.

As a web developer you should know that there are 101 different ways to code a single web design, and the right way to choose is the one that has clean and optimized code that search engine crawlers like to crawl in.

It may sound strange to you, but your client may not even know that there are full time SEO experts in the world and that most of them didn’t create a single website in their entire careers (and they really didn’t have to, in order to become great SEO experts).

Let your client know that website optimization takes time. and money. lots of it in most cases. and that the top ranked websites work hard to stay top ranked all the time.

  • Not having a signed agreement on the design

Sure, there can be lots of minor design changes in the last minute – maybe the way that top menu looks like and the main headings’ font size.

But having the client come up with major design changes once most of the work is done, can be disastrous if you don’t get paid for it.

Case study

I once had a client who wanted the home page to have some more life to it.

When I ask him to be more specific, he showed me the website of his wife’s company which had a wonderful flash layout with great animations and flying menus.

Imagine that happening to you after finishing 80% of your work…

How to Avoid

Don’t let the major stuff left unmentioned in the contract. I know it’s easier when the site design is already given and all you have to do is code it, but that’s not always the case.

Try to get the contract to be as detailed as possible when signing it, and If you don’t know exactly what the client wants, ask them every single question you can think of – from the way their contact form should look like to which effects the image galleries should have.

Clients will like it if you offer them 3 extra hours (or 5 if you’re generous) of minor changes free of charge.

However, make sure to write down your hourly fee for extra changes as well.

  • Not mentioning domain registration and web hosting costs to your client

While for you it may be a natural fact that websites come to life only after someone purchased a domain name and hosted them somewhere, it may not be as trivial to your client.

Case study

In one of my Word-press projects I didn’t make the first three mistakes, but one thing that I forgot was to discuss the web hosting with the client.

After completing the project, I offered him to host the new website in my web hosting Linux Server.

The client however, insisted that the website should be hosted in the company’s Windows 2003 server with IIS6 where all the other web apps are stored.

I then had to learn by trial and error which PHP and mysql package to install, and how to adjust the entire package including plug-ins to the Win environment.

When you’re used to tools like PHPmyAdmin, .htaccess and other Linux/Apache features, it can be really tedious work to find your way in those Win servers.

How to Avoid

Explain to the client how it works and what are the costs.

Let them know you can help in the registration process (if it’s not done already) and you will take care of launching their site and the hosting of their choosing.

In spite of all the above, don’t ever underestimate or look down on your client.

Be humble and cautious while patiently getting to know your clients, as you might be surprised of how much they actually know.